Globally, mangrove deforestation occurs at a rate of 0.17% per year. This equates to roughly 24 million tonnes of CO2 lost to the atmosphere each year. To compare, Myanmar’s annual emissions are of a similar scale.
Mangrove ecosystems are hugely beneficial both in terms of carbon storage and the ecosystem services they provide. Mangroves provide habitat for fish and crab, providing livelihood opportunities to coastal communities, as well as providing effective protection against storm surges. A key benefit for low-lying coastal communities in the face of rising sea levels due to climate change over this coming century.
CO2balance and Natural Capital Partners are implementing a project to plant and monitor mangrove seedlings along Mtwapa Creek, a tidal zone situated on Kenya’s Indian Ocean coastline in Kilifi County. The map below shows where planting activities will take place along Mtwapa Creek. Abent are planting to the north with Comensum planting to the south.
The project area was heavily degraded as a result of over extraction of existing mangroves leaving soils exposed and vulnerable to siltation.
Two charities are engaged in the project, based around Mtwapa Creek. Abent and Comensum Mangrove Rehabilitation Groups. Between the two groups, 50,000 mangrove seedlings will be cultivated in nurseries before being planted in target plots of degraded land.
Abent Mangrove Rehabilitation Group
Abent are a group comprised of 25 members. In the first planting update received Abent have planted 10,125 mangrove seedlings in 7 days! Planting officially started in June 2020.
Comensum Mangrove Rehabilitation Group
Comensum are a smaller group of 18 members. 4,200 mangroves have been planted by the group – who have also hired 3 other members of the local community to complete planting.
In the next blog update we will be hearing from the two groups on their experiences and the importance of such a project.
Click this link to visit Natural Capital Partner’s website on this project.